Emotions are as fundamental to businesses as they are in our private everyday lives. Why is this so? Every human has feelings and acts based on their emotions. People make all decisions, including purchasing decisions, based on how they feel. Hence, brands need to ensure that they evoke the most positive feelings in their customers. Emotionally engaged customers are known to spend twice more on the brands they feel connected to.
Customers will make repeat purchases and become loyal to a brand they trust and identify with. The brand deliberately cultivates this trust by delivering quality experiences, products, and services. With such fierce competition, particularly in the e-commerce world, the brands that will thrive can create a solid emotional bond with their customers.
In this post, we’ll look at how brands can build strong emotional bonds with their customers.
Make customer service more personal.
One of the key ways to build a solid emotional connection with your clients is to personalize your communication with them. Since customers have varying needs, brands must adjust to them. All communication, including customer support and emails, should provide a personalized experience. Companies should address customers by their names and deal with their complaints and inquiries in a personalized manner. Businesses should strive to offer live chats, support contacts, and other means of reaching their representatives so that customers are not stuck with the generic information available. Retailers must also ensure that consumers have a smooth purchasing journey. Personalization should be so robust that your brand’s websites and apps can remember the customer’s preferences. No one enjoys filling the same form several times.
Creating an emotional connection with customers demands that you show how much you care about them through the service you provide. The customer service experience has to be as engaging as possible and cater to their most pressing needs. You can incorporate rapport-building techniques at the beginning of calls or chat sessions so that customers can feel more comfortable sharing feedback and continuing their business with you.
For instance, in a chat session, representatives should make it a point to ask the right question, provide additional valuable tips while maintaining a pleasurable human yet professional conversation. In addition, representatives should tailor advice to the customer’s peculiar situation. Thus, in the long run, your customers will feel appreciated and heard. You will have also used this opportunity to gather valuable data you can later utilize in honing the emotional relationship.
Set up a loyalty program
Brand loyalty results from a solid emotional engagement and the brand’s ability to either meet or exceed its customer’s expectations. One of the strongest drivers of customer retention is a positive emotional connection. Research shows that consumers who have an emotional attachment to a retailer will spend about 46% more and visit their stores 32% more than other alternatives. Introducing a loyalty program is an excellent way to build a lasting emotional connection with customers.
Businesses need to focus more on offering value through experiential rewards and exclusivity instead of only transactional behaviors such as earning points or discounts. For example, setting up a tier-based loyalty program usually makes customers feel more special and exclusive. Likewise, gaining rewards as they advance through the tiers makes them feel appreciated for their efforts with your brand.
A brand that offers an experience-based loyalty program will draw in more customers. Here the rewards can be access to exclusive events, exclusive sales, trips, free services, private previews of new products, among others. For example, Sephora's loyalty program offers experiential rewards to its VIB members by providing free beauty classes as well as in-store services. Victoria Secret's loyalty program, Pink Nation, has also adopted this method by providing members with an exclusive offer of their choice and benefits such as access to new styles and private events. These programs have been successful because they hinge on customers' most pressing needs, therefore appealing to their emotions and causing them to associate with the brand more.
Another critical thing to note is that consumers appreciate real help. Through loyalty programs, you can offer incentives, a host of perks, and discounts that will eventually reduce buyers' financial burdens. Doing this will increase their chances of purchasing from you and building a solid emotional bond between you. For a loyalty program to succeed, brands need to focus on personalization, customer insights, valuable perks, and unforgettable experiences that will foster an emotional connection and impact their customers positively.
Reward customers on their birthday
Personalizing all communications by including a customer's name and recommending products is exceptionally excellent, but it doesn't create as much emotional bonding as wishing them a happy birthday. Every person expects and appreciates wishes from the people they love on their birthdays, and brands can become a part of this group by participating in their customers' birthdays. Businesses should go a step further by rewarding them on that birthday to strengthen the bond.
A good number of retailers achieve this by offering a coupon or discount to customers on their birthday. While this is great, customers may only view it as your way of incentivizing them to spend money in your store. Some customers will decide not to use these offers because it is not a real gift to them. If you insist on giving out coupons, they must be creative enough to trigger the receiver's emotions. Make it more personal by multiplying it by their age, for instance, or referencing their birth month year or any data unique to them. For example, a birthday email like, "Congrats for turning 30, Susan! To celebrate your big day, here are 300 loyalty points!" will most likely cause the receiver to smile and appreciate it.
Brands should also endeavor to reward customers with something they can benefit from, irrespective of whether they purchase within that birthday period or not. You can do this by offering a gift, some experiential reward, or giving them birthday points that they can redeem at any time of their choice. It will undoubtedly remind them that your brand cares about them. When customers feel this way, they are more likely to spend in your store and become loyal advocates for your brand because you have connected with them emotionally.
Donate to charity customers are interested in
Brands can build a strong emotional attachment with customers when they show that they share the same values. Most customers are empathetic and want to see that brands incorporate this value into the way they conduct their business. Thus donating to a charity cause customers are interested in is an excellent way to win them and motivate them to support your brand.
TOMS shoes do a great job at strengthening its emotional bond with its customer base through its One for One movement. The company gives a pair of shoes to less fortunate people with every purchase made. Not only does this method encourage people to love and become loyal to the brand, but it increases sales as people are willing to buy more to support the cause.
Donations are effective in building a loyal community and improving the brand's reputation. You can earn the trust and respect of your customers when you support causes that are of great interest to them. It sets you apart from competitors and fosters a strong emotional bond to your brand.
Send personalized shopping recommendations.
Another great way to build a positive emotional connection with customers is to send them personalized shopping recommendations. These can be derived from the data and insights they share when interacting with your online store and apps. Retailers must take advantage of their customer data and recommend the right products based on their customers' personal preferences.
Birchbox, an online subscription service, uses this personalization technique to create a strong emotional response. Using data, they create customized boxes of mini beauty products that their subscribers would love based on their past purchasing habits. As a result, the brand experiences a meager churn rate.
Organize special events for top customers
Studies have revealed that we feel more connected to people and brands when we share experiences with them. This is why it is such a great idea to organize exclusive events for top customers. Giving them exclusivity to certain top events makes them feel valued for their patronage. Again, it enhances their emotional bond with both your brand and its community. When members enjoy these events, they look forward to future similar experiences and are encouraged to stick with your brand for a lifetime to enjoy them.
This article has tackled some of the most strategic ways brands can build strong emotional bonds with their customers. In each of the points highlighted, we can understand that the most powerful strategy is simply caring for your customers. This will help you create unique customer experiences and a solid emotional bond that lasts a lifetime.